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Major investment in Whitehill & Bordon to provide new jobs and homes

A Ministry of Defence site in Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town has been bought by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide much-needed homes and create new trade jobs.

The Quebec Barracks site will see 100 new homes built and employment space for up to 100 new jobs created as result of a £3 million investment for East Hampshire.

The funding will transform the former barracks into a high quality sustainable neighbourhood as part of the ambitious Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town project.

The overall plan for the regeneration of the town is set to build 4,000 environmentally sustainable homes and create 5,500 jobs.

The new homes will meet official zero carbon standards and be attractively designed to set the benchmark for new homes in the rest of the town.

HCA investment supports sustainable new homes and jobs in HampshireKevin Bourner, HCA Head of Area, said: “This investment enables partners to take the first steps towards regenerating Whitehill & Bordon in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

“The homes will be built to a much higher standard than originally envisaged, which will raise the bar in terms of the development of the rest of the project and act as a catalyst for lasting change here. There is a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year, but it is exciting to have got to this stage and see that progress is going to happen in the months ahead.”

Cllr Glynis Watts, East Hampshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Whitehill and Bordon, said: “This investment is a great step forward for the town. The focus of this and future development is on enabling residents to have a really good quality of life.

“The homes that will be built will meet local aspirations because they will be attractive, cheap to run and in a great environment. We are going to pull out all the stops to make this something really special.”

John Walker, the Independent Chairman of the Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town Delivery Board, said: “The regeneration of Quebec Barracks is a small example of what we are trying to achieve across the town.

“Our aim is to deliver exceptionally good design that sets the standard for future Eco-town development. This is a tremendous opportunity to create a really attractive and sought-after place to live and work.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Homes and Community Agency that will create new jobs and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Clegg unlocks more cash to help businesses

Nick Clegg Regional Growth FundAs part of the Regional Growth Fund, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £350 million cash pot that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

The first three rounds will leverage over £13 billion of private sector investment and create or safeguard over 500,000 jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The Regional Growth Fund is already proving a shrewd investment by providing a welcome boost to jobs and growth across the country, with thousands of jobs created, businesses expanding into new markets and manufacturing new products. With this next round of funding, I would urge England’s budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow.

“There’ll be stiff competition, and we can only invest in those projects that will lead to sustainable jobs and the best value for money.

“Boosting jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain right now. That is why I am so pleased to be opening a fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund which supports growth across a range of industries.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The additional £350 million for the Regional Growth Fund is a big boost for those parts of the country facing structural problems.

“The fund has already supported a variety of industries – from motor vehicles to life sciences. This goes hand in hand with our industrial strategy.

“But it’s not just about big industry and household names. To date we have supported over a thousand SMEs through Regional Growth Fund programmes which is giving small business the impetus to expand, employ more staff or start exporting.

“This is the Government’s commitment to growth in action to encourage investment and lead to a more balanced economy.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Pickles grants the go-ahead for 2,000 new homes

A property development company, Cala Homes, has been given the go-ahead to build 2,000 homes near Winchester which will create new jobs and boost the building industry.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has approved the developer’s plan for building thousands of new homes at the 230-acre Barton Farm site to the north of Winchester.

The scheme is intended to provide 40% affordable housing. It would make a valuable contribution to local businesses and boost the local economy.

The decision by the Communities Secretary paves the way for Cala to begin developing the site. Plans include the building of around 800 affordable homes, with supporting infrastructure and community facilities to help meet Winchester’s housing needs.

Group land director for Cala, Robert Millar, said: “Local people will benefit greatly from this decision. It will be a major contributor to stimulating the local economy and creating long term jobs.

“It will make a significant contribution to the chronic shortage of affordable housing enabling key workers and other local people to live in their own City.”

Mr Millar said that Cala will be examining the detailed design for each of the phases of this development to ensure the housing scheme is delivered as soon as possible.

Government Approves £650m Chatham Docks Scheme

The Government has approved plans to transform a 26-acre site at Chatham Docks into a £650 million development set to create 3,500 new jobs.

Medway Council granted planning permission to the scheme, which has now been approved by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Construction work on the Peel Group’s project is scheduled to start next year, paving the way for jobs in the building sector and giving ‘a real economic boost’ to the region.

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chambers, said: “This is a major step forward for the regeneration of Medway and is a clear indication of how the area is growing and continuing to attract significant investment from developers and businesses.

“Not only will it create thousands of jobs for residents in the near future, but it will provide opportunities for future growth and unrivalled facilities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy and benefit from.”

The major development will build hundreds of new homes, a hotel, a supermarket, office and retail space, as well as education and community facilities.

James Whittaker, Development Director at Peel said he was delighted the Government has approved outline plans for Chatham Waters.

Mr Whittaker said: “The plan will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost.

“We will now continue preparing detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site next year.”

Energy Networks Upgrade to Create New Jobs

Around 7 000 gas engineers, qualified electricians and plumbing professionals could benefit from the £22 billion investment plan announced by Britain’s energy regulator.

Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) has unveiled an ambitious plan to upgrade country’s gas and high voltage electricity networks, ensuring they remain among the most reliable and secure in the world.

Major projects such as new sub-sea electricity cables, linking England, Wales and Scotland, will be also funded as part of the package to renew Britain’s energy networks, currently operated by the National Grid.

The announcement was revealed within minutes after the government’s confirmation for a £9 billion boost investment programme to improve the nation’s railways. Both announcements today represent a total investment of £31 billion which will provide significant employment opportunities for trade qualified professionals.

Ofgem has estimated that £7 billion from the announced investment would help improve low pressure gas networks which deliver gas to homes and businesses across Britain.

In addition, these proposals are expected to enable gas distribution companies to connect around 80, 000 fuel poor households to the gas network.

Ofgem Chairman, Lord Mogg said: “Britain faces an unprecedented need to invest to replace ageing infrastructure, meet environmental targets and deliver secure supplies.

“This needs to be carried out at a time of global financial uncertainty, which makes attracting investment difficult but possible.”

What is your reaction on the £22 billion investment which will upgrade Britain’s energy networks and pave the way for more employment opportunities for gas/electrical engineers?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

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